Whoa, nellie. WTF happened there at the end? Let's hope those last 2 goals don't give the Sharks a boost going into the next game.
The Blues just created false hope for the Sharks.
Consider the Blues PP is AWESOME!!! in the playoffs and the Sharks PK has been one of the worst in the NHL for what? 6 weeks now?? As long as the Blues play in control - as they did most of tonight - they can continue taking advantage of the Sharks mistakes. 4-on-4 goal - ok.... it happens. But the last Sharks goal??? They were very fortunate in that they caught the Blues with a tired line on the ice as they added a guy from the bench and the penalty box at the same time. Even then, Oshie was inches from clearing the puck to prevent that 6-on-5 goal. The Sharks won't always get those inches - and they did not get those alot tonight due to the Blues being solid defensively - except when #25 was on the ice. I am trying to recall the last time I saw a 3rd line forward play so little in an entire game. Hitch clearly understood #25 did not get the message if ice time is any indication. #25 only had 8:46 of total ice time. In the 3rd period, he only got 46 seconds. I think Hitch will not play him again in the playoffs.
Arnott had 10:07 with the benefit of PP time - for a reason.
Langenbrunner had 10:30
Sobotka had 12:05 due to PK time.
Yes, no Blues player had less ice time than #25. And he did not deserve the little ice time he received.
The kicker - both of #25's linemates played 2 minutes longer than #25. Hitch won't use him on the PP anymore. Can't use him on the PK because he does not backcheck. The argument for not playing Reaves was he is not a PP/PK guy. So what is the excuse for continuing to play the floater, #25?? I would say put either Reaves or Schwartz back in the lineup and see what happens. At least Schwartz understands what to do offensively in terms of dump and positioning. He was also doing the right things defensively in his limited time. Reaves offers the physical aspect and effort #25 is supposed to bring, but has not shown for an entire season and two playoff games. Sit #25 for Reaves or Schwartz and I will be happy.
Last comment - is there anyway to combine the effort, physicality and style of Sobotka into the body of #25? A guy like that would be one of the best power forwards in the league.